IBM Focuses on Training, Resources for New Partner Skills Initiatives

As a greater number of vendors shift their partners’ value from sales volume to expertise, IBM has unveiled three new skills initiatives providing training and resources designed to help partners differentiate themselves.

We are seeing a significant shift in how clients are demanding partners work with them in industry-specific areas,” said Mike Riegel, vice president of IBM Developer Relations.

Solving difficult issues requires deeps knowledge. These industry-specific skills initiatives enable our channel partners to partner with IBM more effectively to gain the resources they need to become recognized for their expertise in key industries.”

The first initiative, the IBM Industry Solutions Specialty, is geared toward ISVs and focuses on nine key industries including telecom, banking, health care and retail. Partners will receive access to new technology resources and IBM Innovation Centers, including cloud and mobile application development; dedicated IBM experts and technical advocates to speed application development and delivery to joint customers; business development and demand-generation funding for industry-specific marketing campaigns; and opportunities for co-selling and industry event participation.

Under the Industry Solutions Specialty, partners will leverage IBM Industry Frameworks, which bridge the gap between general purpose middleware and industry-specific business applications to help organizations apply technology more easily to their industry.

Application providers can do the work to have their app interface with our industry frameworks and systems,” Riegel said. This enables them to align their application with our best practices for industry software.”

IBM also has announced a security initiative that enables partners to achieve cross-industry authorization to sell security solutions based on IBM software.

Security is a concern in every industry. This new security authorization enables channel partners to drive more margin,” Riegel said.

Finally, the company introduced the IBM Industry Authorization initiative designed for resellers and system integrators that have extensive skills and knowledge in solutions built with IBM software. The initiative is an extension of IBMs Software Value Plus program the company announced earlier this year, which helps partners build sales, technical and marketing skills on IBM’s software portfolio.

The reseller program is about giving additional training and skill opportunities for partners to drive skills development with their team,” Riegel said. They must pass industry mastery tests that are defined by job role. The program gives them the ability to benefit from IBMs experience. Weve had more than 350 partners in first phase pass the mastery tests, and they can testify to the value.”

Partners that meet the program requirements which include passing two IBM Industry Mastery tests, demonstrating their solution aligns with IBM Industry Frameworks or strategy and demonstrating successful client implementations are provided with a number of benefits. Such benefits include additional financial incentives for industry sales within the IBM Software Value Incentive program, additional funding for industry-specific co-marketing activities, priority access to industry-focused technical enablement and industry assets, a dedicated executive advocate to represent partners across IBM and with customers, and the ability to use the Authorized Software Value Plus Industry” designation.

When you add it all up, were reinforcing our commitment to trying to help partners reach new opportunities and solving industry problems for our clients. Its a very unique approach,” Riegel said.

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